Melbourne; Even Better than Expected
Named as one of the world’s most livable cities, Melbourne is a melting pot of culture, history, diversity and beauty. I spent four incredible days exploring this fantastic cosmopolitan city and even though I lived there for 2 years, everytime I visit I still always discover something new – of course this time was no different.
Walking out of Tullamarine Airport, we felt the chilled breeze hit our faces and added on more layers of clothes as our transfer took us to our home for the next two nights; Crown Metropol. Once checking into the Metropol, we met the Crown representative and took a tour through the other two Crown Hotels; Crown Promenade and Crown Towers.
All I can say is Crown Towers absolutely took my breath away. So much sparkle and glammer, you would expect to see celebrities walking around. In fact when we saw an older guy dressed in tight black pants and looking very rock-star; we automatically thought it was Gene Simmons! That night we were treated to a cabaret and VIP dinner at Dracula’s.
On arrival we were greeted by eccentric characters dressed as Vampires, who made us laugh at any turn they could get. After a very funny ghost ride, we were seated for dinner while a man with a guitar entertained us until the show started.
The actors were great and funny and my favourite parts were the human instrument and the ‘Queen’ puppets, but I was not prepared for the scene where a woman in a g-string with less covering her top half proceeded to dance and sing seductively inside a lava lamp – It was hard not to choke on my food.
The next morning I bounced out of bed and took in the amazing view of Melbourne from the 23rd floor. Day two of our Melbourne adventure was upon us. After a delicious breakfast in the city, we made our way to St Kilda. I use to live in St Kilda, so while we had time before our first hotel inspection I showed the gang around my old hood and entertained them with stories.
We started off on St Kilda beach, trying to perfect a jump shot in very windy weather, and then headed down the very iconic Acland Street. Acland Street was filled with people, trams, retail places, cuisine and the iconic cake shops complete with delicious mouth-watering deserts.
Lunch and a tour around Rydges St Kilda were next on our agenda and I absolutely loved this hotel. Funky, arty and just oozes that St Kilda vibe. The food was delicious too! After lunch we made our way back to the city for our evening Kayaking Tour. For the next 3 hours we kayaked up and down the Yarra Valley passing Melbourne’s beautiful night skyline.
We pulled up for dinner (fish and chips), which we ate while sitting in our kayaks and listened to our guide relaying a story at how his finger was bitten by a lion; True story! Afterwards we got to see Melbourne from 88 floors above at the Eureka Tower – Wow!
The next morning before our Laneway Tour we found a great little cafe (Brown Sugar Cafe) hidden away in the laneways for breakfast. We then met the Laneways Tour guide at Fed Square and spent the next few hours weaving in and out of the laneways, learning about the interesting history of Melbourne.
My favourite was venturing to the Retro Shop and being transported back to the 70’s. I took the group to China Town for lunch before we made our way to our home for the last night; Somerset on Elizabeth. Since we had a few hours before our dinner at the Blackman hotel and since we were now staying right in the heart of Melbourne I spent some time shopping.
Seeing some of the group at the check-out meant they had the same idea. Well, when in Rome… Dinner at the Blackman was lovely, the food was delicious and the red wine was going down a treat. Since we had yet to experience Melbourne’s nightlife, we decided to visit a few bars on our list.
First stop was the ‘Croft Institute’ designed to look like a mental institute and it certainly looked the part. We were given shots in syringes, the bathroom was white with a stretcher and there was a wheelchair hanging on the wall. Really cool but kind of creepy. After a drink at the Berlin Bar, I took the group to the Cookie Rooftop and also left them there.
Needless to say there were a few sore heads at breakfast for our last day. After a great breakfast at Time Out Cafe in Fed Square (nursing a few hangovers) we then made our way to the MCG and met our guide; a big sports enthusiasts who took us into the MCG sports stadium, players change rooms, sports museum and filled us in on the history behind the sports era.
Our last visit was to the Mercure Treasury Hotel, where we were shown around and treated to a great lunch and then before we knew it, it was time to leave this diverse city. Glancing around I could tell by everyone’s faces that this was a place they would definitely be visiting again. Melbourne, once again, you were even better then expected!
Written by Naomi Wengier, Infinity Digital Marketing